To Fungi or Not To Fungi
Written by Cheffy
- Most “gourmets” will tell you not to wash mushrooms in water because they’ll become waterlogged. Instead, you’re supposed to use a brush to remove any clinging pasteurized horse poop compost. Have you ever tried brushing a mushroom? I have, and I can tell you right now that I wash my mushrooms. They key is to not soak them. Place them in a colander and give them a cleansing squirt from the ol’ water pistol thingy on the long hose that never goes back in right. Once clean, move them to paper towels to drain. When it comes to slicing white button or cremini mushrooms, the handiest tool you can own is an egg slicer.
- Most mushrooms keep well if they’re refrigerated in a paper bag, which holds on to some moisture while allowing air to pass through. Plastic and mushrooms don’t get along.
- Mushrooms, which are 80 to 90 percent water, not only contain more protein than most vegetables but also impart a meaty, earthy, and satisfying flavor the Japanese call “umami” to dishes. When it comes to cooking, I find that most mushrooms like to be treated like meat and respond best to fast cooking at high temperatures.
- Loose or “bulk” mushrooms are not always fresher or of higher quality than packaged mushrooms. But if the package in question shows a fair amount of condensation, I pass. As for presliced mushrooms, let me say this: Quality and convenience are rarely seen holding hands.